Being a black, you may never be worried about head lice. Many of us believe that black people can not get head lice due to their curly dense hair. This is what I believed for years but I was astonished when I dig into this matter and found some startling facts. You may also want to read some more on it. So, here we go!
Can Black People Get Lice?
The hair texture of black never makes me wonder that they could get head lice. But once, my black friend Jamaica reached to me on a call with a frightened voice.
“Hey Mary, I don’t know how to ask this but have you ever heard of black people getting head lice infestation?”
Apparently, I was also oblivious as I never heard or seen a black infested with head lice. She sounds so frightened to me that I had to ask her why she sounds panicky? Jamaica answered,
“My daughter Carla has been given a warning letter from her school to have her head examined. She is found to be infested with pediculosis. I seriously don’t know how is that possible?”
What? Are you serious? This was my reaction and probably of yours as well!
Her situation made me wonder that can black people get lice?
Carla was an eleven years old school-going girl who had an afro bonnet heavy textured hair. Her hair texture was thick, coarse and curly so I was wondering how could she have head lice in her head?
African Americans can get head lice however, the ratio is low as compared to the White Americans
I didn’t get Jamaica, until I dig the facts myself and searched the internet for the answer. I found that African Americans were likely to be infested by head lice however, the ratio was low as compared to the White Americans. This is also proved by following studies.
- According to a research study, white people were likely to be found more inclined towards being the victim of head lice as compared to the black people.
- According to another survey conducted in US, only 0.3 percent black kids in school were affected by head lice in comparison to 10.4 percent white kids.
The survey results proved that the presence of hair lice is evident in black people even though the hair structure of African Americans is curly and dense.
There are numerous other factors that you need to understand before you go stressing yourself out due to lice infestation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Head Lice
1What is Head Lice?
Head lice are parasites usually known as Louse (singular) or lice (plural). In Latin head lice is called as “Pediculus humanus capitis”. It has six legs and no wings. Lice are in oval shape with a brown tinge.
[Read More: Where Does Lice Come From? 9 Stunning Myths & Truth]
2What are nits?
Nits are the eggs of head lice. They are covered in a translucent shell in which the nymph (baby bug) is present. We use word nits interchangeably since you cannot have one without the other. Nits are also sometimes confused with dandruff.
3How long does it take lice eggs or nits to hatch?
Female lice can lay up to four eggs in a day. The eggs (or nits) are attached to the hair with a tacky substance thus, making it difficult to remove the nits from the scalp or hair follicles. A nit can take 7 to 10 days to completely develop and hatch. It then turns into a nymph. A nymph is a young lice that is not able to lay eggs yet.
4How to get rid of lice eggs in hair?
It is important to be aware of different ways of how to remove lice eggs from hair. Lice eggs can be removed by carefully examining the head. You can make small sections of hair and use a nit comb to comb through the hair to find any nits. The thin and closely located bristles of the nit comb help to capture the nits. Doing so, continuously for a week can help you to get rid of the lice eggs in hair.
5What is the size of head lice?
The size of an adult’s head lice is around 2-3 mm long. Generally, they resemble the size of a sesame seed. They have a pointed front along with an antenna at the top. They walk fast so it can be difficult to find them in the hair.
6Where do lice and nits are found?
The lice and nits are infested around the head, scalp, and neck. They attach their eggs to the base of the hair strands i.e. about ¼ of an inch from the scalp. They are also found in clean hair.
[Read More: Do Lice Like Clean Hair? Busting The Myths Big Time]
7What are symptoms of head lice?
Head lice infestation can result in an itchy scalp or bruises. However, not everyone shows the head lice symptoms. Since head lice move quickly in the hair, they are harder to find then lice eggs.
8How do lice survive in human?
The principal diet of lice is the human blood. Lice cannot survive without human blood. It will die within 24 hours without a host. It sucks the blood from the scalp of its host.
9How long can lice live off the body?
Lice survive on human blood. It can not live without human blood. Therefore, if the lice do not find a host, it will die within 24 to 48 hours.
10How to remove lice from hair in one day?
It is not possible to remove head lice from hair in one day. It may require a couple of weeks to completely eradicate head lice. But it can always come back if proper head examines is not done.
11Are lice dangerous?
Head lice do not cause any ailment or have any adverse damage to the people other than causing trouble and disturbance in everyday life. However, it can result in bruises and scabs over the head or scalp due to the scratching and itching. In a rare and extreme case of head lice infestation, it can result in anemia due to the loss of blood.
12Can lice survive without a host?
Lice cannot survive without a host because they are obligate parasites. Another interesting fact about lice is that lice originate only from a human host. Animals do not carry human head lice.
13Can lice fly?
Some people also believe that lice can fly so they contemplate that this tiny creature tends to fly from head-to-head and increases the chances of a person for being caught. However, this belief is WRONG.
14How does lice spread from one person to another?
According to reference.com lice have no wings so it simply can’t fly. It is contagious, but it can only travel from one host to another if they share hats or any other personal items. These lice are not present in animals so you don’t get lice from pooches, cats or furry pets.
15Can you go swimming with head lice? Can lice swim?
They cannot swim or fly; they can only crawl. Lice can also not transfer from one person to another in the swimming pool as the feet of lice are adapted to stick to the human hair. So submerging in pool water won’t make any difference. Swimming after lice treatment may also not help.
16Which hair type is hair lice attracted to?
Generally speaking, lice lean more toward straight or wavy hair because it is easy for them to crawl as compared to move in thick, dense and coarse African American’s hair. Due to the nature and texture of the hair of black people, people ask can black people get lice?
17Can African Americans get lice?
Yes, they can but the probability is low. Another commonly asked question is do lice dislike curly hair? It is assumed that one reason dark individuals are less inclined to head lice, is their structure of Afro-Caribbean hair that creates the difference over normally straight hair. Afro type hair has a complex hair texture making it dense, spiral, curly, dry and rough hence they are inclined to more breakage. In addition to this, it is also important to know that can you get lice with braids? The answer is that the probability is again low but lice can infest even if you make braids.
18How do you get rid of nits?
The most common way to get rid of nits and lice is to comb wet hair with a nit comb. Handpick the nits and lice that are found in the hair and then kill it either with your nails or throw them in a large bowl of water. Without the host, it will kill by itself.
19How to get rid of lice in African American hair?
The best African-American lice treatment is to use grease or oil on curly hair. The African head lice have evolved to live in thick, dense and curly hair. This head lice treatment is also effective for mixed race hair.
20How to get rid of lice permanently?
The lifecycle of lice keeps on growing until all the nits or eggs are killed and no adult lice or nymph is present in the host and also in the surroundings. However, lice can come back at any age or any time.
21Will lice medication kill the nits and lice?
Lice medication drug store or prescription shampoos may kill some lice while it does not guarantee eradication of head lice from the hair. Lice have become resistant to the head lice shampoos.
22How to get rid of head lice and eggs fast? Does bleach kill lice?
In order to get rid of lice faster, some people attempt to use chemicals to kill the nasty lice and nits. Bleach contains strong chemicals that can make it difficult for lice to survive. It kills the adult and juvenile bugs but remains ineffective upon the eggs. Bleaching hair seems to work well for head lice infestation.
23Does chlorine kill lice?
If you are going to take a prolonged dip in the swimming pool in an attempt to get rid of your head lice, then you need to think about this idea again. This is for the reason that, the amount of chlorine present in the water of swimming pools does not have any effect on the lice or nymph. Lice, as well as their nits, are immune to chlorine because of their tough structure.
24Did black people get lice in the past?
Or can black people get lice? The tendency to get caught by lice was less in black people because of their hairstyles in the past. The tight curls and bonnet hairstyles were more common amongst kids, teens, and adults.
In addition to this, black people were also devoted to using oil products to nourish their hair. While having oil most of the times in the hair, it makes difficult for nits and lice to survive as it quashes their sustenance. The tight curls and dense hairstyles could also be a barrier for moving for the lice.
So the answer to the frequently asked question “Can black people get lice?” is “YES” they definitely can.
Guide For The Removal of Nits & Head Lice
To remove the lice and nits from the hair, you need to properly examine the head. If you see that there is an increased itching or scratching of scalp then look for the following symptoms:
- The first thing that you need to do is to see if you, your kid or someone around you is having an itchy scalp.
- If you find your kid scratching and constantly scraping its itching scalp, then; that can point towards the existence of a nit or louse.
- Any rash near the ears, around the nape of neck or shoulders, can also be an indication of the presence of lice.
- Lice can also be found on the pillow, caps, head scarfs or other items in use.
- An irritated scalp can also be an indication of lice invasion.
What KILLS Head Lice?
After a proper examination of the head, there are several ways to treat head lice infestation. Few of them are mentioned below. But,
Remember that the head lice eggs are hatched in 7 days. So it is important to repeat any of the remedies to treat head lice eggs before they got hatched.
10 Easy Home Remedies To Treat Head Lice!
How to Use a Lice Comb to Get Rid of Both Lice and Nits?
There are many home remedies to get rid of lice. The most common way to get rid of nits and lice at home is to comb wet hair with a nit comb. For effective results, use a metal nit comb with thin teeth. Otherwise, a plastic comb also works.
– First, wash your hair to make the hair soft and combing easy.
– Examine the head in bright light and comb the hair in sections using a normal comb.
– Place a towel on the shoulders, so that you can not miss any head lice that skip through your eyes.
– Now comb hair section one at a time with a nit comb. The combing should be done from the top towards the ends of the hair.
– Lice are located on the top sections, behind the ear and on the nape of nick. Comb as close to the scalp as possible. Also, comb each section thoroughly with the nit comb and handpick the nits and adult lice that are found in the nit comb.
– You can kill the nit or louse by placing between your nails and crushing each lice or nit with your nails. You can also throw them in a bowl of hot water. Lice can not swim nor it can survive without a host.
How long does it take to get rid of lice? How to get rid of lice in thick curly hair? Another way to treat head lice at home is to apply oil to the hair and comb hair with a nit comb. Due to the grease, it will become difficult for the lice to move in hair. This will help you to find them easily by combing hair through nit comb. Repeat any of the process mentioned above at least three to four times to kill the nits and louse.
Use Head Lice Shampoo
The best head lice treatment in the market is Head lice shampoo. You can buy prescription shampoo or drug-store shampoo to treat head lice. However, the lice have now become resistant to these chemicals and do not guarantee complete removal of head lice from hair.
Directions for using head lice shampoo
Don’t use the shampoo in the shower. Only wash your hair in the sink by applying lice shampoo or lotion to the scalp and hair. These shampoos contain pesticides and harsh chemicals to kill the nits and lice so it should not come in contact with your skin. Let it sit for few minutes and then wash your hair. The best way to get rid of lice is to use a nit comb after washing the hair to remove remaining nits and lice. Wait for at least a week to 10 days before repeating the procedure. Every lice shampoo or lotion has its sets of instruction, so keep a check on that and use the lice shampoo as directed.
Lice Treatment With Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is effective in treating the head lice. You can apply some concentrated quantity of tea tree oil on the scalp. But remember, this can be a slow treatment. You need to repeat the treatment until you see some visible results.
How To Get Rid Of Lice With Vinegar
Vinegar can treat head lice eggs but it can not treat head lice due to its properties. Vinegar is found in many different ranges such as white vinegar, red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar. The most effective of all is the apple cider vinegar for the treatment of head lice.Since vinegar can be harsh on the scalp, so it is better to dilute it with water. Apply it on the scalp and close to the hair shafts. Leave it for few minutes and then wash the hair with water. Comb your hair with the nit comb to find the head lice eggs.
Use Mayonnaise To Treat Head Lice
Mayonnaise contains a great amount of oil, vinegar, lemon juice and egg yolk along with other ingredients. So, it is a safe way to kill head lice and nits if you don’t want to buy expensive and toxic chemical products from stores. However, some experts say that this remedy would not work as head lice can survive oil. But some parents have tried this method on their kids and found it working for them. So, you can also give it a try.
Directions to use Mayonnaise for head lice removal
You can buy a jar of mayonnaise from your local store. Any brand of mayonnaise would work well.
– Apply a thick layer of mayonnaise to suffocate the lice to kill them. Also, massage mayonnaise into your scalp and put a shower cap to prevent dripping. The smell of mayonnaise may bother you a lot but you need to be patient while treating head lice with mayonnaise.
– You need to keep it for at least 7 to 8 hours. For adults, (not for kids) you may also keep it overnight and the next morning, wash your hair with any shampoo.
– You may need several washes to remove mayonnaise from the hair.
– Now again use a nit comb to take out any dead lice from your hair. Repeat the process after 4- 5 days until you get rid of the lice permanently.
Use Vaseline To Kill Adult Lice
Vaseline is also known as Petroleum Jelly. If you don’t want any toxic or chemical treatment to kill the little monsters then you can use Vaseline to treat head lice.
This home remedy to treat head lice can be a savior for someone who doesn’t like oiling or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding infant. However, removing Vaseline from hair can be a nightmare as it may take several washes and a lot of time due to the stickiness of vaseline. You can use baking soda or a lemon juice or vinegar concentrated with water to remove the stickiness.
Once, the vaseline is removed after a hair wash, comb your hair using a nit comb and try to take out any dead or live head lice so as to make your hair clean.
Take Support From Lice Doctors
If you do not have any clue for treating head lice, then you can also contact lice doctors who are professional doctors. They examine the head and treat lice infestation accordingly. They also provide at home services so you don’t need to visit them at their clinic.Lice infestation can be the most dreaded thought; especially if you are a mom of a school-going kid. It is recommended to call lice doctors to examine your kid for a proper treatment.
Next time when someone asks you can black people get lice? You can tell them, Yes! they surely can. Does hair dye kill lice? Does bleach kill lice? or does chlorine kill lice? are the most frequently asked questions. If you are looking for the answer to these queries then find the links below.